Studying the Health and Economic Impact of Obesity and Contributing Factors in Alameda County

Dates: 2013-2014

State: California

Client(s): Alameda County Health Services Agency

Technical Expertise: State and Local Public Health, Healthy Communities


Obesity and overweight continue to be a problem in California. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, 24% of adults in California were obese. In Alameda County, more than half (54.6 percent) of adults and a third (34.7 percent) of school-aged children (in grades 5, 7, and 9) are overweight or obese. Being obese and/or overweight can lead to a number of negative health outcomes, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, hypertension, and sleep and respiratory problems.

JSI worked with ChangeLab Solutions (based in Oakland, CA) to investigate the health and economic effects of obesity and obesogenic foods on residents in Alameda County and generate policy recommendations and programmatic approaches to prevent or reduce obesity at the local level. These include, but are not limited to: improving access to healthy foods; reducing the prevalence of unhealthy foods; and increasing opportunities for physical activity. Alameda County is particularly interested in reducing the consumption of obesogenic foods, including sugar-sweetened beverages, which have been identified as a primary contributor to obesity.

JSI conducted a literature review of the health and economic data on obesity and obesity-related disease, reviewed county-level data on obesity and related risk factors, conducted focus groups with community groups, and interviewed key informants representing stakeholders in Alameda County. ChangeLabs and JSI worked together on a final report to the County that proposes policy solutions to curbing obesity and reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

 

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